In a low-calorie diet, people usually take between 800-1500 calories a day. But when that’s not enough, as a short cut people choose a very low-calorie diet.
In the very low-calorie diet, people consume the commercially made formulas with the 800 calories or fewer to replace any food they usually eat. And very low diet is different with the substitution of one or two meals per day with over-the-counter meal replacements.
Is Very Low-Calorie Effective?
Very low-calorie diet can help lose about 3 or 5 pounds per week for an obese (with BMI over 30). With this diet, you can lose up to 44 pounds in 12 weeks.
This kind of weight loss can improve your medical condition, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. But in the long term, it is better to have modest diet because this one isn’t more effective. When you stop this very low-calorie diet, you have to commit regular exercise, healthy eating, and lifestyle changes.
Is Very Low-Calorie Diet Safe?
Before taking this diet, you’d better talk to your doctor because very low-calorie diet is not appropriate for everyone. Under proper medical supervision, this type of diet is safe for people with BMI over 30. If you are overweight but not obese (BMI of 27-30), you can only take this type of diet if you have medical problems related to weight and are under medical supervision.
Those who are NOT recommended to take very low-calorie diet are pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and teens who are not in specialized treatment programs, and people over 50 because this diet has possible side effects.
Side Effects of Very Low-Calorie Diet
In 4-16 weeks of very low-calorie diet, some minor side effects are reported, including nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, and constipation. In most cases, these conditions get better within a few weeks and it is very rare that people stop completing the program after experiencing the minor side effects.
However, rarely, it is also reported that very low-diet has a serious side effect, gallstone. This usually happens in rapid weight loss. However, it is not clear if the cause of gallstone is the rapid weight loss of the very low-calorie diet.